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Prosecutors appeal Air Force officer's 9-yr prison term in sex abuse case

All News 14:50 December 23, 2021

SEOUL, Dec. 23 (Yonhap) -- Military prosecutors have appealed a recent court decision to sentence an Air Force service member to nine years in prison on charges of sexually abusing a now deceased female colleague, officials said Thursday.

On Tuesday, the prosecutors filed the appeal. They had sought a 15-year prison term for the master sergeant purported to have groped the victim of the same rank inside a car in March. She took her own life in May.

On Friday last week, the General Military Court meted out the nine-year prison sentence.

Prosecutors had demanded a stronger punishment, claiming the accused threatened to retaliate against the victim in a text message, hinting he could kill himself.

The court, however, acknowledged the defendant's claim that the message was meant as an apology.

The sexual abuse case sparked intense public fury as the Air Force was accused of attempting to downplay the incident and failing to take swift, appropriate steps to protect the victim.

This file photo, taken Nov. 25, 2021, shows the mother of a deceased Air Force noncommissioned officer holding a picture of his daughter during a protest in Seoul. The officer took her own life in May after being sexually harassed by a colleague. (Yonhap)

colin@yna.co.kr
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